Tag: Legal Issues


Unison appeals to Supreme Court over sleep-in shift payments

Posted on August 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Unison appeals to Supreme Court over sleep-in shift payments

Following last month’s decision at the Court of Appeal to overturn the sleep-in shift ruling Unison, the trade union acting on behalf of care worker Claire Tomlinson-Blake, has now lodged an official appeal to the Supreme Court.

Following the Court of Appeal ruling, specialist care providers now face a further period of uncertainty as the Supreme Court might take eight weeks or more to decide on whether to grant permission for the appeal to be heard.

The Court of Appeal ruling meant the £400m allegedly owed to care workers who had been deemed to be underpaid for overnight shifts is no longer considered to be due under current legislation – a decision that could now be under threat if leave to appeal is granted and the case is considered by the Supreme Court.

Matthew Wort, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said Unison’s appeal … Read More »


Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

Posted on August 3rd, by geoff in CT Extra. Comments Off on Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

Caring Times, July/August 2018

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found Liverpool City Council to be at fault after a woman was banned from visiting her mother in a care home in the district after she complained about her treatment.

The woman, whose mother had been placed in a BUPA care home by Liverpool City Council, said she was banned by care staff from seeing her mum after she raised a number of concerns about the way her mother was fed, washed, and looked after. And when she complained to the council, instead of investigating, it told her to raise her concerns with the care company.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for the way the care home looked after the mother, and for the way it handled the daughter’s complaint. Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, … Read More »


Guides launched to help providers deal with complaints

Posted on July 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. No Comments

Councils and care providers are being encouraged to adopt a new statement which sets out best practice in receiving and dealing with comments, complaints and feedback about their services.]

Launched this week by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and Healthwatch England, the ‘single complaints statement’ has been drafted to help adult social care providers set out what service users, their families and representatives can expect when making a complaint.

Alongside the complaints statement, a second document has been launched, aimed at service users to help them better understand the complaints process. An accessible ‘EasyRead’ version is also available.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King said he wanted to encourage all service providers – whether independent or council run – to adopt the single complaints statements into their own complaints policies, and highlight them in any information they give to … Read More »


Court of Appeal tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

Posted on July 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Court of Appeal tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

Last week, the Court of Appeal delivered specialist care providers a life line, saying that they do not have to pay staff the National Minimum Wage when working ‘sleep-in’ shifts.

The decision lifts an estimated £400m burden from care providers that would have pushed many into insolvency.

James Sage, head of the social care team at Royds Withy King who specialise in advising care providers in England and Wales, said the court’s decision reversed an earlier decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal that found that sleep-in shifts in a care setting were working time for the purposes of national minimum wage laws.

“It is very welcome news for care providers and was a crucial outcome for the sector,” said Mr Sage.

“But it is possible that the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will continue the uncertainty and anxiety felt by … Read More »


Care Protect expands into Australia

Posted on July 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care Protect expands into Australia

Care home camera monitoring company Care Protect is expanding into Australia in response to occurrences of abuse in the country’s care homes.

The Australian Federal Government has announced plans to set up a powerful new watchdog as part of a review of the care system, sparked by a scandal in Adelaide’s Oakden nursing home, which was followed by other similar incidents being reported. As in the UK, some families in Australia have installed secret cameras to check up on the quality of care their relatives are receiving.

Care Protect’s Australian operation will be headed up by former City broker Scott Sterling. Belfast-born Scott, who graduated from Kingston University with a Business Management degree, will work from a Sydney base with care providers across the country to introduce the Care Protect system.

Care Protect’s monitoring system employs the latest sound and motion sensitive technology which, … Read More »


National Audit Office reports on the health and social care interface

Posted on July 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on National Audit Office reports on the health and social care interface

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report assessing the challenges preventing health and social care from working together effectively.

In a move to encourage the Government to create a long-term plan for a sustainable, joined-up care sector, the head of the NAO, Amyas Morse, has urged further and faster progress towards a service that centres on the needs of individuals, meets growing demands for care and delivers value to the taxpayer.

“No one across government or the civil service would disagree that health and social care have to be in balance to give people quality of life, and to use the available national and local resources as efficiently as possible,” said Mr Morse.

“The hard part is agreeing how that balance is to be achieved and maintained, and who is willing to sacrifice what to bring it about.

“The NHS did not … Read More »


Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

Posted on June 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman holds council to account over care home’s ban on relative’s visits

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found Liverpool City Council to be at fault after a woman was banned from visiting her mother in a care home in the district after she complained about her treatment.

The woman, whose mother had been placed in a care home by Liverpool City Council, said she was banned by care staff from seeing her after she raised a number of concerns about the way her mother was fed, washed, and looked after.

The care home told the Ombudsman the ban was because of a previous incident reported to the police because of the daughter and her partner’s behaviour, but it could not provide any evidence that an incident had occurred, or was reported the police.

Ombudsman Michael King said councils and care providers with open, transparent and mature complaints handling processes should welcome the … Read More »


Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

Posted on May 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has secured more than £2m in compensation for residents of care home operator Sunrise Senior Living as part of an investigation into compulsory ‘upfront fees’.

Sunrise has said it will give money back to the vast majority of residents who paid such fees since 1 October 2015. This will apply to residents who have left or leave within two years of moving in to one of the company’s care homes. If the resident dies within this time, their family will receive the compensation.

The move comes as part of the CMA’s ongoing investigation into how some care homes charge for their services. This uncovered that Sunrise’s description of its upfront fee – running to several thousands of pounds per person – and how it would be used, was unclear. Moreover, prospective residents were having to pay … Read More »


Council should not have charged top-up fee while family sold home

Posted on March 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Council should not have charged top-up fee while family sold home

Norfolk County Council has agreed to investigate whether more care home residents have been incorrectly charged a top-up fee, after one family’s complaint was upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

When the family placed their mother in a care home and needed to sell her house to pay for her care, the council should have offered the woman a so-called ‘affordable’ care home. This would not require the family to pay a top-up fee above what the council would contribute, for 12 weeks while the home was being sold.

Instead, the Ombudsman’s investigation found the council charged the family for those 12 weeks, wrongly arguing that because the woman’s capital, including her property, was above the £23,250 threshold, it did not have to offer her an affordable placement.

The council has waived the fee, and has agreed to check if … Read More »


New liberty protection laws to replace DoLS

Posted on March 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on New liberty protection laws to replace DoLS

Proposed new legislation would replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a new system – Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), a set of checks that aim to make sure that any care which restricts a person’s liberty is in their best interests.

Government says the reform will offer a more efficient and effective system which better takes into account people’s past and present wishes for care and treatment. The proposed changes follow a series of recommendations published by the Law Commission last year, criticising DoLS as being too bureaucratic and complex.

The Government is consulting with health and social care stakeholders to finalise the plans before introducing new legislation. Care minister Caroline Dinenage said the Government broadly accepted the recommendations made by the Law Commission and would replace DoLS in a bid to provide better care for people and increase access to the … Read More »



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